'At least thirteen people have been killed in mudslides in Southern California according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff, with numbers of fatalities expected to rise.
Homes were torn from their foundations Tuesday as downpours sent mud and boulders roaring down hills stripped of vegetation by a gigantic wildfire that raged in in the region last month.
Rescue crews used helicopters to pluck people from rooftops as debris blocked roads, and firefighters pulled a mud-caked 14-year-old girl from a collapsed Montecito home where she had been trapped for hours.
At least 25 people were injured.
The worst hit area of Montecito is a wealthy enclave of about 9,000 people northwest of Los Angeles that is home to such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe and Ellen DeGeneres.
The death toll exceeds the last major California mudslide in 2005, which killed 10 people as a hillside gave way in the town of La Conchita, less than 20 miles (32 km) south of the latest disaster.
The mud was unleashed in the dead of night by flash flooding in the steep, fire-scarred Santa Ynez Mountains. Burned-over zones are especially susceptible to destructive mudslides because scorched earth doesn't absorb water well and the land is easily eroded when there are no shrubs.
The torrent of mud swept away cars and destroyed several homes, reducing them to piles of rubble. Photos posted on social media showed waist-deep mud in living rooms.'
Read more: At least 13 killed in Southern California mudslides
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